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ALI to buy back P1.3B worth of shares

Posted on May 31, 2012 10:50:20 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is set to redeem in July some P1.3 billion worth of non-voting preferred shares from its stockholders as part of a capital restructuring to adjust to last year’s Supreme Court ruling on foreign equity limits.
The property arm of the country’s oldest conglomerate yesterday said all outstanding preferred shares -- earlier reported to number 13.04 billion -- will be redeemed “effective July 16 from the shareholders of record as of June 4, 2012,” a disclosure to the local bourse showed.

Ayala Land will pay a redemption price of 10 centavos per share, as well as a cash dividend of P0.0035 apiece for the period October 18, 2011 to July 16, 2012, the disclosure added.

This, as the property firm plans to sell in a few weeks 13.04 billion preferred shares, this time with voting rights, only to common shareholders.

The transactions will lower the company’s foreign ownership of voting shares to 19% from 38% as of end-January this year in response to a high court ruling ordering the use of a company’s voting shares in applying the constitutionally-mandated 40% foreign ownership limit on firms.

While technically not in violation of the foreign ownership law, Ayala Land earlier said it wanted to have enough “room” to adjust its foreign ownership level.

In the meantime, Ayala Land has hiked its net income for the first quarter by 31.48% to P2.13 billion from P1.62 billion last year as better sales in most property segments offset an increase in expenses.

For 2012, the developer has allotted a record P37 billion in capital expenditures to fund around 67 new projects with an estimated sales value of P90 billion, as well as for the acquisition of new properties moving forward.

Shares of Ayala Land slid by 1.31% to P19.64 each yesterday from P19.90 at its previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

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